German winger Leroy Sane is set to join Bayern Munich after the Bundesliga champions agreed on a deal with Manchester City that could be worth up to £54.8 million.

It’s a transfer story that has been bubbling away for several years. There had been growing speculation that Leroy Sane was keen on returning to Germany and he very nearly made the move last summer. The 24-year-old joined Manchester City from Schalke back in 2016 and enjoyed rapid success, winning two Premier League titles and an FA Cup within three seasons. Sane was also named the PFA Young Player of the Year in 2018 but things went awry in the summer of 2019.

With just two years left on his contract, he became the subject of major interest from Bayern Munich last summer. The Bundesliga champions needed to replace both Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery and the Germany international fitted the bill. A deal couldn’t be reached but Sane’s season with Manchester City was cruelly cut short when he suffered a knee injury in August of last year.

Sane has returned to fitness since then but still refused to agree on a new deal with City. Bayern reignited their interest and now, it has finally been announced. Sane will join the German champions and return to the Bundesliga just four years after leaving Schalke 04 for the Etihad. The deal will initially be worth £44.7 million but could rise to £54.8 million. City are also expected to have secured a 10% sell-on clause for any potential future transfer. The 24-year-old is set to earn upwards of £20 million per season from the German champions. He’ll join the young India-born starlet Sarpreet Singh at the Allianz Arena.

Pep Guardiola has now spoken about the player’s decision as Manchester City prepare to play out the final matches in the Premier League, UEFA Champions League, and FA Cup without the winger.

“We wish him all the best, big thanks for our years together. We wish him all the best in his new chapter at a fantastic club,” Guardiola said of the news.

“Is it disappointing? He wants to leave. Everyone has their own life. He deserves to move on. “I’d love him to stay here but he decided to move on because he believes he will be happier [in Munich].”

Of course, Guardiola joined the Premier League side from Bayern Munich. Leroy Sane headed from Germany to England at the same time and has cited Guardiola as a big factor in his decision to join the Manchester side.

“One of the reasons I decided to join City was Pep Guardiola,” he said back in 2016.

“He convinced me to come here and that I can continue to progress. I know I will learn a lot under him and now I can take the next step in my career. I think he can make me a more complete player.”

Sane is expected to head to Munich this week to complete the transfer but how will it affect them in the coming weeks? They have a further seven Premier League fixtures but their focus will be on the cup competitions. City are eager to continue their quest for a European title when the UEFA Champions League continues in August but have a domestic cup to try and win before then. City will take on Arsenal in the semi-final of the FA Cup on July 18th as they aim to win their second consecutive title. Guardiola’s side are the favourites to do just that at 8/13 to win the cup on Betway as of July 1st.

The bookmakers certainly don’t expect Leroy Sane’s departure to affect things at the Etihad too much this season. Guardiola can still call upon Raheem Sterling, Riyad Mahrez, Phil Foden, and Gabriel Jesus in wide areas but the Citizens have still lost a potential key player.

The search for possible replacements has already begun. Reports suggest that City are looking at some Premier League stars such as Jack Grealish, Dwight McNeil, and Adama Traore as they look to replace the ten Premier League goals Sane scored in his second and third seasons in England. There are also suggestions that City are looking at young talents in the Bundesliga. Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey has been cited as a candidate, as has wonder kid Jadon Sancho at Borussia Dortmund. The latter is a particularly interesting link considering the winger left City to join Dortmund just three years ago. Whoever they decide to sign will have big boots to fill. Leroy Sane was an outstanding player for Manchester City and his flair and goalscoring ability will be difficult to replace. For Bayern Munich, it is a quite excellent signing. They’ve secured an established top-class player who is still relatively young and could feasibly play for them for the next eight years. City’s loss is very much Bayern’s gain.

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